Spring is officially here, and being on the Central Coast, that means it is almost summer! All the signs are here: the garden is taking off, sundresses and sandals have made their way back into the daily rotation, and I’ve been craving soft serve every evening.
Although this is certainly more a late-summer meal and would have been infinitely better had the tomatoes been from our own garden instead of the grocery store, it was still just fine as it didn’t involve standing over a hot stove and was quick and fresh and just what we were craving on one of our first long summer nights of the year.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen‘s adaptation
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
1 large handful fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
8 ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound pasta
Blend almonds them in a food processor or blender until they resemble a very coarse meal. Scoop them out of the processor and set them aside – this keeps them from turning to mush while you chop everything else.
Put the basil and garlic into the food processor with a few dashes of sea salt and chop. Add the almonds back to the food processor with the tomatoes, cheese and olive oil and pulse briefly. Season it with freshly ground black pepper, and additional sea salt if necessary (to taste – my not-so-stellar tomatoes needed a little extra help!).
Cook your pasta until al dente. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water, then drain and immediately put the pasta back into the cooking pot and mix quickly with the pesto. Add some pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce. Serve this lukewarm, or at room temperature.